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Letter: Decision hurts women

The recent decision by the Supreme Court to support Hobby Lobby’s authority to limit the types of reproductive health-care options it will insure is egregious. Hobby Lobby’s corporate owners claim that their religious mores do not support certain kinds of contraception and abortion, so they will not fund insurance coverage for those options. I believe the court’s decision to uphold Hobby Lobby’s prejudice-driven exclusions infringes upon the ability of American women to exercise self-determination over their lives.

Women have fought long and hard in this nation for equality. It has long been a very clear, collective understanding that women holding power over their reproductive lives is a key part of achieving liberty and equality. Those who are compelled to give birth are not free. They exist as reproductive slaves. The message sent by Hobby Lobby, along with the court, is that adult women are less valuable than their potential progeny. This is not fair. Men are never faced with this kind of health dilemma, only women, and they should have the right to choose whether they wish to endure a pregnancy. Republicans and Democrats alike should understand this and oppose the reproductive subjugation of women, not only within America, but across the globe.

The Hobby Lobby decision sets a damaging precedent that will most impact poor and working-class women who depend on health insurance. If Hobby Lobby’s corporate heads personally do not like contraception and abortion, then by all means, they should live their values. With their high incomes, no doubt, they can afford to support loads of offspring. Working-class families cannot, and in an era of reduced social welfare spending, it doesn’t make sense to limit contraceptive care and abortion to poor, working-class women.

In China, women are still legally forced to abort unauthorized pregnancies, to protect society from overpopulation strain. How strange that in America, where so many women voluntarily take on the responsibility to limit childbearing, the government has just acted to make their job much harder. Unwanted pregnancies and births present high economic and social costs that we cannot afford and should never facilitate. The precedent set by this bad decision must quickly be reversed.



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